President Donald Trump’s administration is set to put Reality Winner, a former NSA contractor, on trial in March for allegedly disclosing an intelligence report on Russian hacking during the 2016 presidential election.
“It’s the first major leak prosecution under President Donald Trump. And so we get to see what kind of a prosecution he plans to bring against leakers and how far his administration is willing to go in order to make sure that people like Reality Winner, who appear to have whistleblower motives, serve jail time simply for providing a document to a media outlet,” Shadowproof journalist Kevin Gosztola declares.
Gosztola produced in-depth coverage of Chelsea Manning’s court martial, traveling to Fort Meade periodically for nearly two years for pretrial hearings and then a crucial trial. He plans to continue his work on whistleblowers and leak prosecutions and travel to Augusta, Georgia, where the government will try Winner.
In this interview, Shadowproof co-founder speaks to Gosztola about why he believes this is an important trial to go cover. He describes how the Trump administration plans to aggressively prosecute Winner.
He highlights some of the lessons and experiences from Manning’s court-martial, which will inform his reporting, and why it is critical to have an independent journalist in the courtroom.
Finally, Gosztola makes a pitch to those who follow his work, especially individuals who chipped in to fund his coverage of Manning’s case, to donate so that he can be present for the entire duration of the trial.
Watch the full interview, and for additional analysis of the prosecution of Winner, read Gosztola’s most recent piece on the case, “The Espionage Act And NSA Whistleblower Reality Winner’s Struggle To Defend Herself.”